If you have ever contemplated the idea of launching a business conference but have been overwhelmed by the idea of taking on such a big venture, you are not alone. Producing a high-quality conference is not easy and takes a great deal of planning and execution. But with Covid now almost behind us, this could be a great opportunity to enter the market as people are hungry to get back to live events.
Business conferences play a crucial role for industries as they help foster community and spark innovation. These events are where people can come together and network with each other and build strong relationships. They also provide a great way for you to position yourself as an authority in the industry as well as being a strong generator of revenue.
Here are some things to keep in mind if you are going to start your own business conference:
Think Big and Then Size Down
Describe what the perfect event would look like if there were no restrictions. Describe each aspect of the event. Then come back with a red pen and write what you’d be happy to settle for. You now have a range within which you can work and manage your own expectations.
“It’s always important to dream big when you start a new venture” says Sean Adams of Motivation Ping. “This way you have a goal that motivates you for the future.”
Create A Marketing Outline
Before you launch your event, you should have an idea of how you are going to promote this event. With event marketing on the rise, there are great deal of resources now available to you in which you can handle your promotion. But you will need to make sure you create a solid plan as it can be quite easy to overspend.
Use Event Planning Software
Event planning software are tools specifically designed to help you keep everything organized. There are a number of event planning programs available for your use. They will help you manage your to-do list, budget, and deadlines. You can find a list here.
Contact Speakers Bureaus
It should go without saying that you are going to need to find a keynote speaker and guest speaker who will not only keep the attention of your audience, but they will also need to be someone that your attendees will want to come see. Even if you event is free, people are giving you their time.
If you want to find a top keynote speaker, visit KeynoteSpeakers.info.
If you want to find an inspirational speaker, visit MotivationalSpeakerz.com.
Collect Data (And Use It)
Data is great because it allows you to measure your success and predict the results. If you don’t have data from previous events, you should start collecting it now. Look at the buying patterns and online presence of your guests. Alternatively, you can take surveys and view case studies of events similar to yours.
Manage Your Time Efficiently
Since you are very likely to work independently, it is important that you structure your day. Use a calendar app to schedule your tasks and break times. Whatever you do, just make sure your time is being spent on what really matters.
Create A Realistic Budget
Nobody likes spreadsheets, but they are a necessary evil. Create a budget based on your vision. Then follow up with a spreadsheet or event planning tool to make sure you stick with it.
You can try using this worksheet.
Think of Additional Funds
The planning stage of an event is not too early a time to think about financing. After all, you just created a budget. Fortunately, there are ways you can improve your finances. Make a list of potential event sponsors or think about possible crowdfunding for your event.
Create A List of Venues
Your choice of venue should reflect the theme of your event and your budget. But it should also have all the facilities you need. Think about the location, seating, WIFI, security, catering, lighting, sound, and anything else you might need. Make sure the place you choose has everything on its list.
Write Detailed Contracts
Always have detailed contracts between you, the venue, the entertainment, guest speakers, and anyone else involved. Seek legal advice if necessary. Make sure the quotes you get are all inclusive. You don’t want a surprise account at the end of the event. Read the fine print and make sure there can be no misunderstandings.
Visit the Venue Before the Event
Most events will have websites with pretty pictures and even a 360-degree virtual tour. But you must go there in person beforehand. Put yourself in the shoes of your guests and think that you will impress them. It will help you visualize your event and the experience it will create.
Find Selfie Spots
Try to find some selfie spots while you’re on the spot. It will help increase your mentions on social media, which can only help your marketing efforts later on. You can create a selfie wall by deliberately placing a backdrop at the entrance of the venue. That way, your guests can share it on Instagram in the first place.
Expect the Unexpected
Many things can go wrong when planning an event. If your event is outdoors, you need to keep an eye on the weather. If your event is in a big city like London, you should be aware of traffic delays and tube strikes. Anything could happen. Be prepared for it.
Watch Out for Competing Events
You want to make sure your event is not in conflict with a competitor when scheduling the date. Similarly, you need to be careful of holidays that your event may collide with. Depending on your target audience, you should also plan outside of popular vacations.
Find A Reliable Ticketing Partner
Choose a ticketing site or platform that makes your life easier. Make sure they accept all forms of payment and integrate with your other platforms. A well-known name will also give your event credibility.
You can find a list of 8 here.
Automate as Much as You Can
Find out how many aspects of your event you can automate. Schedule emails and social media posts. Synchronize your ticketing application with your CRM or event management software. Automate everything.